Saturday, January 29, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Inspiration to start writing

Sometimes even the greatest writer has problems beginning writing. Writing is not something that authors take delicately. It’s our other jobs. It is something that takes over our lives at times and when we cannot get the process starting for the day it takes a toll.

With me still being a “novice” but experienced writer I have learnt how to get myself inspired. Next to the sound of a TV show that you have seen many times, other sources such as movies and music can help start the writing mind.

First, I turn to music. One song  in particular can get me ready to write the happiest or twisted part. The song is “What Lies Beneath” by Breaking Benjamin.

breaking-benjamin-saturate-album-art-26762

No matter what, I am drawn to this song. It makes me feel like I am becoming someone else. No longer am I the happy Megan that I typically am, but I turn into the writer that needs to exist in order to write some of my books.

At times, that even fails and I have to move on to something else to get me inspired. In my apartment an endless collection of movies exist. I am not a writer that can write in the quiet. Quiet creeps me out. After the hubby and I have expanded our movie collection, I have discovered a new favourite when writing my books. None of my books is about love, so any love movie is ruled out, same goes for comedy. The movie I am talking about is:

220px-Edge_of_Darkness_the_Movie_poster

Yes, “Edge of Darkness” is a fantastic movie and I like it for the fact that it is not what it seems. It is complex and keeps you thinking at all times, just like what I want my writing to be like. Not generic and always getting you to think and read more.

I guess what I am trying to show here is that every writer at some point will have a need to be inspired. It is just choosing the best method to inspire you is what is difficult. I have 10 years of writing under my belt (not impressive seeing as none of the novels are actually professionally published) and I have learnt that what you choose has to reflect your style of writing. And, well, mine will always remain the mystery/thriller genre and I love it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Short Story

As several people have told me, I am planning to enter the short story contest offered by The Toronto Star. Seeing as I rarely write short stories I rummaged through some of my high school writing and found a short story I had written back in gr. 12. Mind you, it is really rough. When I typed up what I had I winced. With what I have I know I am going to be able to add and edit most of what I have. For any readers sake, please feel free to read what I am posting. My goal is to have it reworked so much that you can get more of a visual and sense of what happens.

Here is the short story:

Light. It cannot be morning yet. She rolls on to her side and looks out her window. Nope, it’s not the morning. Where had the light come from? It was a white flash, almost like the light for her room had come on. She rolled on to her back and looked up at her light fixture. No sign of light. A white flash, similar to what lightning would do, flashed inside her room. It came from her mirror. The mirror she hated to look at. She had to face herself in that mirror. The fine lines, the horrid hair, the eyes with no soul in them. Black or dark blue eyes. The colour did not matter, all that it revealed is she is without a soul. Hollow. Hollow like she felt inside. She had given up everything for other people’s happiness; she even gave up herself. She got up, despite her own wishes and walked over to the mirror. She could barely see herself in the dark. She looked old, dead.

The light flashed again, giving her a glimpse of her room and herself. Had she just seen something? A man. She had seen a man. Where had he come from? He was dark and would not show his face. She felt herself shiver and her breath caught. She feels cold now. Her air starts to get sucked out of her. Where had the man gone? She had seen him. She knows he is there. He had to be there.

She sees the light again, as well as the man. Only this time, he appeared to be over top of her. She jumped at the sight of his face and knocked the mirror to the ground. She’s falling. Where? The ground, the ocean, or her bed? She blinked several times. The light had stayed on. It was blinding her. She could breathe a little better. What had happened? She searched around and looked for the man. The walls were white; the people surrounding her were in bright clothing. The man was in green and white. She tried to move her fingers and felt sharp pains go throughout her body. Blood. She was coated in blood. Was it the mirror? No, it was not the mirror. It was much worse than the mirror could ever show.

She looked over at the man. No, he was a doctor. The man was a doctor. It went back to being dark again. Where had he gone? She cannot breath. It hurts too much. Her eyes feel heavy. Where did the light go? She wants the light back. The doctor covers her up with the blanket.

“We lost her,” the doctor told the nurses standing around her.

Sunday, January 16, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Stuck between a rock and a hard place

I guess you can either use my post title, or you can say that I am in the gray zone. Why do you ask?
Writer’s block has plagued me and won’t let me go. It’s tough to keep trying to motivate myself. After almost two weeks, I can finally feel myself get back to wanting to write.

New goal for tonight after I finish writing this post: write some of my book. I have already edited about two pages, which is not much, I know, but it is an improvement from my current situation where I could not do any writing.

Now that I finished my little rant about writer’s block plaguing me and suffocating me in its grasp I can return to my initial reason to posting this time, which is why I am in the gray zone.

When it comes to looking for writing advice, any advice I find does not really apply to me. Yes, the advice about how to get published or find an agent is the advice that does apply to me, but when it comes to just writing in general the advice is geared towards people who have never written a novel before. That is the problem.

I am no Charles Dickens or Jane Austen, but I am still able to say I have a fair bit of novel writing under my belt. Sometimes, experienced writers do need advice; whether it be how to get back into writing, or how to move on when writing a tough part.

Alas, I guess I shall have to remain in the gray zone for quite some time, or at least until I get published. Not much else I can do, except for pushing myself to get back into writing. No one can motivate a person more than the person themself.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Writing Advice #1

Seeing as I am an aspiring author I rely on writing advice from online. There is a vast amount of advice; it is just difficult to decipher the helpful from the pointless. So, I figured as I update about my writing, and how I get really frustrated most of the time at my books because of what decisions I have to make, and how I have to change the character, that I would also post some advice I find during my research.

Thus far, I have found several sites that start off with saying the same first point of advice. The way the writers stated it was not interesting, so I found a great video on youtube that involves Stephen King. Enjoy his advice, it made me smile and laugh at the same time, because at the end, it describes how I viewed some books while I grew up and was doing the bulk of my writing.

Okay, now that my fun is over, back to doing some writing. Not feeling the editing tonight, but I will make time for reading because if I don’t-well, I think Stephen King said it the best.

Sunday, January 9, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Wildcard Weekend

Wildcard weekend writing style:

Hubby's Team
My team

It's wildcard weekend and anything can happen, such as watching football, reading, writing and editing. What sounds busy is really not that bad. The search for the perfect location for the book I am editing is still ongoing. I think I may leave it till last minute and choose a place that sounds suitable, but may not fully match the description of the city in my book. My goal is to edit at least 2 chapters a week, if school will let me. So far, it has not been that bad. A missing word or two, adding more detail and correcting sentences. What a difference between 1440 and Unknown Caller.

I am enjoying my reading because I am reading my two biggest influences a lot over the holidays: J.D. Robb and Iris Johansen. Love them both and like their style.

Best advice I have seen recently about writing: dialogue is the most important part of the novel next to plot. I have always been a fan of writing a lot of dialogue because it seems more realistic, and I guess I was right about it.

Actual writing is going good. I write at least 2 pages a day, if not more. It's tough to focus with so much going on, but I still intend to get another book done this year. Writing is not that easy when I am busy. I still think people should try to write a novel at least once in their lifetime. It's thrilling, and when it is completed it is the best feeling. The reason I feel that I am not writing as much is because I am trying to determine what direction I should take my one book. Trying to decide on something this big is not easy and must be taken seriously. Laugh all you want, but its like deciding between life or death at times.

But, back to editing and writing I go. I am in one of those moods to write and edit so I best covet the time I have in order to do so. No guarantee when Unknown Caller will be finished, but I am getting there. Same with the query letter's. Grandma gave me some advice to touch it up, and gave me a boost of encouragement because even the greatest writers have been rejected (more than one would actually think).
Saturday, January 1, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Location, location, location and New Year Resolutions

First of all, I will start with the generic boring stuff. New Years Resolutions. No, I do not want to loose weight, to me that is just pointless setting a goal such as "I want to loose (insert number here)lbs." I only have three, two can be combined in a sense. First, I want to actually get the guts to send out a query letter and manuscript to either literary agents or publishers. One would think that would be easy for me, but it is not. I have to become confident in my work and make sure to write the letter as clear and conscise as I can. Second, which is the easiest by the way, finish editing my second novel. I am on Chapter 10, so it is not like I have a long way to go. Third, finish handwriting another novel. I have two on the go, one further in while the other one I am just feeling around yet.

Now that I did the generic stuff, moving on to the "location, location, location" part. The current novel I am editing is not situated in any city. So, I figured I would let my friends and family place imputs on where the novel should take place. This must be a fairly large city, or one of decent size, and should be located in a place where if a person were to drive no longer than 20 minutes they will reach a country area. Suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

The place can be anywhere, preferably in Ontario. Once I get a few options or imput I will then decide. Some places that it could be is Windsor, St. Catharines, Toronto and Ottawa that I can name. If anyone else knows of more cities they wish to suggest, please do.

Seeing as I have updated my blog, its time to get back to writing, or at least reading. Ah yes, I am down to three books out of my eight I started with. No rush for these ones, just time to enjoy. For some people, I will put editing and writing first.

Just remember, suggest locations! Maybe I will even choose the one you suggest, or even where you live.